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Robin Geiß and Rebecca Mignot-Mahdavi

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Robin Geiß and Anni Pues

This chapter reflects on the role of international manuals in response to Werner's analysis of international manuals as restatement of the law and their unique format. The authors demonstrate that international manuals tread a fine line between progressive norm development and the potential blockade of genuine normative development through established, state-driven law-making processes. International manuals typically suggest that the law is clear and that simplified application is possible. Especially in areas where there is a perceived knowledge gap, such as in the domain of cyberspace, the information contained in manuals is in high demand and quickly finds its way into legal and policy debates as well as law development processes. In that way, a non-binding expert manual can have significant influence on the formation of international law. Therefore, legitimacy and transparency of manual creation processes is critical to ensure that manuals do not forestall but inform necessary broader political debate.